BY PMA RASHEED
29 Sept 2010, The Gulf Today
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has announced strategies to further boost its medical tourism activities in the Emirate slated for 2011.
As part of the strategies, the DHA will host the regional Medical Tourism Association (MTA) conference in Dubai in February 2011, with the participation of private and public healthcare establishments to showcase Dubai’s healthcare capabilities, said the chief of the Authority.
Qadhi Saeed Al Murooshid, Director General of the DHA, said the DHA recently signed a MoU with the MTA at the World Medical Tourism and Global Health Congress, which took place in Los Angeles from Sept.22 to 24, to host the summit for the first time in the Middle East region.
“Dubai is already known to be one of the top tourism destinations in the world and the local authority is further building its healthcare capabilities, policies and regulations to ensure that Dubai enjoys the same position as a healthcare destination,” he added.
“At the conference, the DHA and the private sector will represent their centres in the fields of diabetes management, rehabilitation facilities, surgery, and other specialities. The conference will be a platform representing Dubai’s healthcare tourism strengths to the global medial tourism sector,” elaborated Al Murooshid.
According to him, Dubai has witnessed a phenomenal growth in the healthcare sector, following the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 to position the Emirate at high rank on the global medical tourism map.
He urged the private sector to energise the medical tourism scenario by developing state-of-the-art healthcare facilitates in the city.
“The patient base over the years indicated an increase in the number of patients from the Gulf region landing in Dubai for treatment,” pointed out Al Murooshid.
Laila Al Jassmi, CEO of the Health Policy and Strategy Sector at the DHA, said, “Dubai’s medical tourism sector generates over 30 billion dollars worth of revenue annually. Now, the DHA is strengthening its policies and regulations to further develop its healthcare capabilities focusing on medical tourism.”
“The enhancement targets international players looking for lucrative healthcare opportunities,” she added.
Meanwhile, a September-end survey carried out by a healthcare travel consultant in Dubai had revealed that the UAE was at eleventh position among the countries that had made a mark in medical tourism.